President Vladimir Putin: During these years the Russian Ministry of Emergencies has become a multipurpose and flexible structure. This structure is ready to react effectively to extraordinary situations on practically any level.
Over the years Russia's Ministry of Emergencies has performed more than two hundred thousand rescue operations within and outside of the country and saved thousands of human lives. Most of these operations exemplified precise calculation, competent and harmonious actions linked with displays of personal courage and heroism.
Your selflessness helped prevent large scale environmental catastrophes, to rescue innocent bystanders from 'hot spots', and to minimize the country's economic losses. And the main thing you did was protect the well-being and lives of people who were suddenly confronted by natural elements, disasters and humanitarian crises. You faced real calamities, not only within Russia but also beyond its borders.
Our country has a great deal of experience in carrying out international humanitarian missions. Delivering food and medicine to Afghanistan, clearing mines in Kosovo, and successful search operations undertaken in December last year in Southeast Asia—these are all part of work done by Russian rescuers abroad. And the work which again confirmed your level of professionalism and today's opportunities in Russia deserves the sincere gratitude of millions of people on the planet.
Today our country possesses sufficient forces and means for an extraordinary humanitarian response anywhere on the planet. And here Russia's position remains consistent and firm: 'another's trouble does not exist'.
We shall continue to help the world community by overcoming emergency situations, technological accidents and environmental catastrophes. And Russia's Ministry of Emergencies must cooperate more actively with foreign partners to create a unified international system of warning and cooperation concerning potential risks and threats.